Blog

Blog

Jul 2 2021

5 Spring Activities that Help Reinforce ABA Therapy Techniques


Picnics are a wonderful way to reinforce ABA therapy because they are connected to fresh air and nature. They encourage a naturalistic setting where the client can go at their own pace and enjoy a social excursion where there is more stimulation from the environment. Certain subtle elements like the birds chirping and the wind blowing through the trees can help facilitate an environment of peace and tranquility amid the challenges of everyday life.

Category: ABA Therapy
Posted by: Alejandro Hernandez BCBA

Having a picnic while examining cloud shapes

Picnics are a wonderful way to reinforce ABA therapy because they are connected to fresh air and nature. They encourage a naturalistic setting where the client can go at their own pace and enjoy a social excursion where there is more stimulation from the environment. Certain subtle elements like the birds chirping and the wind blowing through the trees can help facilitate an environment of peace and tranquility amid the challenges of everyday life.

Examining the shapes of clouds is a great way to encourage creative thinking and observation skills because we all see nature through different eyes. It can also be similar to a Rorschach experience where the individual may express emotions based on their perspective while attributing them to the various shapes in the sky. There are endless interpretations of the clouds because they are one of the freest aspects of nature that can help in ABA therapy sessions. A relaxing yet engaging time may help them develop healthy social skills and flexibility in communication.

Go on a nature scavenger hunt

Spring is the perfect time to explore the amazing changes that occur when transitioning to summer. New life is budding and there’s something intensely psychological about being in the midst of trees. Taking the person to a secure nature reserve where there are organized trails will stimulate a sense of wonder, exploration, and even problem-solving skills to navigate through various terrains. Implementing a scavenger hunt is a great way to add increased organization and a sense of purpose to the expedition.

It also initiates a sense of accomplishment with healthy reinforcement after the hunt is completed. It’s important to individualize the experience according to their interests in nature. For instance, if someone enjoys collecting rocks then that can be a main theme throughout the scavenger hunt. The environment can also be shifted such as going to a beach to collect some shells. After this takes place you can then assign a secondary activity that utilizes the spoils of the hunt in an outdoor art project so they have a keepsake to remember the good times in connection with nature. This activity is also exceptionally fun with other people and can stimulate a sense of healthy competition and lasting meaning.

Sidewalk chalk to express individual creativity

It’s obviously too cold in the winter and sometimes far too hot in the summer to draw with sidewalk chalk. However, in the spring the temperature is just right to purchase some high-quality chalk with vibrant colors for emotional therapy. There are even chalks on the market that is specifically designed for a smoother appeal. The art project can take many different forms so it’s important to consult with the client regarding their interests so they can be properly nurtured. They can write their name at the end to sign the work to give a sense of accomplishment and then maybe get a reward from the ice cream truck after their good work.

One can even dress up with an artist’s hat to help them get in the zone and stimulate laughter while drawing with chalk. Color therapy is critical in this task and it’s important to use a variety of chalk options. Chalk can also give rise to other activities and games such as hopscotch and other classic playground games. This is a highly creative endeavor that will surely encourage ABA therapy techniques. You don’t always have to draw with chalk on the driveway because there are interesting locations with walls of concrete to simulate a canvas.

Visit a farm or petting zoo

ABA therapy involves the sharpening of social skills and self-regulation in the context of exciting spring activity. One of the best ways to stimulate a sense of wonder and socialization is to interact with animals with a group of clients. They have the opportunity to get in touch with creatures outside their species and witness the endearing spectacle of a petting zoo. Feeding them can also serve as a direct behavioral exercise that allows the client to help another creature by sharing food and enjoying their company.

There are farms that feature activities that encourage critical thinking such as mazes and jungle gyms which give them exercise and help operate within the confines of a set social structure. The weather is perfect for this activity in the spring so you can stay outdoors longer with the animals. Not only that, but they will also meet some new people along the way and get outside their comfort zone which is imperative for ABA therapy. They will inevitably respond to cues from their peers and even socially with the animals as they eat from their hands.

Outside sports with friends that involve teamwork

General sports such as baseball, soccer, swimming, or bike riding are all skills that need to be developed over time. It will give them positive reinforcement during ABA therapy when they hit that elusive homerun. It will also give them the drive to improve on a daily basis in an activity that requires practice and growth. Exercise in this context can be very vigorous and can even out the mood when there are behavioral issues. Solitary sports can also be great options such as biking, hiking, or skating on a bike trail. Core teamwork skills are necessary for sports to function within the framework of fellowship in ABA therapy.

When you are all working towards a common goal to compete against the other team it presents the opportunity to forge stable friendships in a more natural environment outside the clinical setting. The last thing a child wants to experience during the Spring is to be cooped up indoors under assessment procedures. We naturally are inclined to engage with nature and this serves as a bonding experience to develop interpersonal social skills that are cemented in the long term with rewards for good behavior like a delicious ice cream cone after a long day outdoors.

 

 
Contact us today!